Sarah Ignatius

NAASR Chairman Announces Retirement of Executive Director


BELMONT, Mass. — Yervant Chekijian, the chairman of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), announced this week that Executive Director Sarah Ignatius is retiring this year, now that she has turned 70. Starting in 2016, she has been the first person to serve as executive director full time. NAASR has opened a search for a new candidate to fill the position.

“Sarah is an extraordinary person who has brought a high level of professionalism to our organization and done an exceptional job,” said Chekijian. “She played a major role as the project manager for the development of our spectacular new headquarters and as an integral part of the fundraising effort. She also ably led us through the pandemic, working with Marc Mamigonian, and helped us to reach an expanded global audience. With the support of her team, Sarah launched our first ever virtual gala and helped close the funding gap for our building so that we will soon be able to pay off our loan to the bank. It has been a pleasure to work with her, and we are grateful for her hard work and devotion to NAASR. We look forward to continuing to work with her as we search for a highly qualified successor to build on our achievements and continue our progress.”

NAASR Director of Academic Affairs Marc Mamigonian added, “Sarah has been instrumental to the great progress NAASR has made in the past five years. She has great respect for the history and mission of NAASR while always propelling us forward. It’s been a privilege and also a joy to work with her every day.”

“The past five and a half years at NAASR have been the most fulfilling of my career,” said Ignatius. “NAASR is an inspiring organization with a long history of integrity to its mission as one of the foremost organizations in the world advancing Armenian Studies. I am profoundly grateful to NAASR for giving me this opportunity. The challenges were exhilarating, and the remarkable successes we achieved together are intensely rewarding, not to mention the deep friendships that will stay with me forever.”

NAASR has created a search and hiring committee and is commencing a nationwide search for qualified candidates. To ease the transition, Ignatius will serve as executive advisor to the new executive director. Priority consideration will be given to applications received by September 30, 2021, although the application process may remain open beyond that date until the position is filled. For a detailed description of the required qualifications, duties, and application procedures, visit


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